38° 54' 24.606'' N 106° 4' 3.72'' W

Dispatch: Climbing the Davis Face in Buena Vista, CO

Aaron McHugh

My buddy Gill has one eye. He lost his sight in the other eye climbing in the Himalaya. Even as a cyclops, he’s gnarly. Two years ago, he led our mountain bike trip on the Colorado Trail from Durango to Denver. We met up in Buena Vista for a day of climbing to ascend the Davis Face, The Carter Classic 5.9 trad route.

Buena Vista, CO is my favorite mountain town. It has none of the hype of Breckenridge or Vail, but all of the uncrowded wilderness you want. Start at Brown Dog Coffee Company for a red-eye espresso. Pack your gear at Columbine Park just off HWY 24. Getting there: Follow directions from Mountain Project for the thirty-minute dirt road to North East of town.

The Davis Face, Carter Classic route in the distance
Carter Classic is a five-pitch trad route. Gill led most of the hard stuff. None of the climbing was overly complicated, but it was a little heady. Some of the moves required significant laybacks while placing cams in slots out of view.

Belay ledge on the Davis Face half way up
Pitches are up to 130 feet. Bring a pair of 70-meter ropes to rap off. Your last stop is to grab a beer and fresh meal at House Rock Kitchen on Main street.

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